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Women globally set out to walk like Harriet Tubman

By Lashieka Hunter,

On March 10 and 11, a movement will be taking place. Literally.

Thousands of Black women and girls across the world will gather to participate in the fourth annual #WeAreHarriet celebration to honor revered Civil Rights leader Harriet Tubman, and to walk their way to great health. Conceived and organized by GirlTrek, the largest nonprofit and health movement dedicated to get Black women and girls to develop a daily routine of walking, #WeAreHarriet draws inspiration not only from Tubman, but also from the walking legacy of the Civil Rights struggle.

The weekend will kick off with “Harriet House Parties” on Friday, March 10 (also Harriet Tubman Day), where women will set health intentions and ask the community to hold them accountable to their health goals. On Saturday, March 11, women will gather with friends and family in parks and on the streets of their neighborhoods to walk together. College students across the country will also meet up on campuses around the nation to lead walks around their schools.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 59 percent of Black women over the age of 20 are obese, while the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation’s Leadership for Healthy Communities program reports that among adolescents, 42.5 percent of Black girls ages 12 to 19 are obese and overweight compared with 37.3 percent of Black boys the same age.

The celebration prides itself on being a positive environment that encourages African-American women and girls to improve their health and wellness, and a way to bring sisters together for bonding, camaraderie, support, and change—which is needed more than ever during such uncertain times.

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“Since the beginning of GirlTrek, self-care has been the revolutionary act that has grounded everything that we do. Too often Black women place the needs and desires of everyone else around them ahead of their own and the stress of carrying this load is weighing us down,” says Vanessa Garrison, GirlTrek co-founder. “Given the current political climate of our country, it is even more important that GirlTrek works to reestablish walking as a healing tradition. Harriet Tubman was bold enough to believe she could be free and brave enough to walk to freedom. If she could walk with the slave catchers after her, we have no excuse for not getting up to literally walk to good health.”


Read more at EBONY

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